ThreatMetrix Cites Cybercrime Scams to be Aware of as Summer Heats Up

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SAN JOSE, Calif., July 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ThreatMetrix™, the fastest-growing provider of integrated cybercrime solutions, today announced several travel and ticketing scams to be aware of so businesses and consumers can avoid falling victim to cyber risks in the summer months. According to a recent Orbitz.com study, 77 percent of consumers are planning summer getaways this year, enticing cybercriminals to make a profit from various travel and ticketing scams.

Most consumers now purchase concert tickets and book travel arrangements, such as airfare and hotel rooms, online rather than visiting a travel agent or ticketing window. A variety of travel websites and apps now enable consumers to make reservations with the click of a button, placing trust in online transactions. This shift to digital trust offers a major opportunity for cybercriminals to target consumers and businesses as they plan summer leisure activities.

"While digital ticketing is much more convenient for today's consumers, they must take extra precaution when purchasing online due to payment fraud, identity spoofing and malware risks," said Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer, ThreatMetrix. "Summer is the time of year for travel, concerts and music festivals, and fraudsters always go where the money is. The last thing you want this summer is to get scammed by a fraudster when planning a family vacation."

As summer kicks into full gear, today's savvy cybercriminals are scamming consumers planning summer activities and getaways. These scams include:

  • Ticketing scams – Nearly five million people a year purchase concert, sporting event and theme park tickets that turn out to be fraudulent. Cybercriminals use ticketing websites and reseller sites such as Craigslist for high-demand events to oversell tickets for personal profit at the expense of authentic buyers.
  • Nonexistent vacation rentals – Consumers must beware of suspicious sites and emails offering vacation rental deals from third-party sources. Cybercriminals often set up fraudulent online travel agencies to con vacation-goers. Once a customer books advance tickets, the cybercriminal simply takes the money and runs. This is especially risky as consumers increasingly use vacation home swapping websites, a prime target for cybercriminals.
  • Email hacks – There have been several high profile email hacks in the past year – including Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL and Hotmail – placing hundreds of thousands of email addresses in jeopardy. Given today's shift to online purchasing, most tickets and travel confirmations are sent via email. A hacked email can enable cybercriminals to print and resell concert and other event tickets.

In addition to these risks facing consumers, ticketing, travel and accommodation sites face their own challenges with the growing use of stolen credit cards. This year, U.S. consumers will spend $84 billion on hotel stays alone – most of which will be booked online and need to be screened for fake purchases. To protect against such risks, businesses associated with summer travel and tourism must put preventative measures in place to protect themselves and consumers. Such measures include extensive credit card screening for suspicious transactions and leveraging the data of a collective network to detect legitimate customers and criminal digital identities , such as the ThreatMetrix Global Trust Intelligence Network (The Network). The Network analyzes more than 350 million monthly transactions for account takeover, payment fraud and identity spoofing attempts without inconveniencing authentic users.

"By leveraging the data of a collective network, online ticketing sites and travel agencies can assure their customers have fun in the sun without getting scammed by cybercriminals," said Faulkner. "Once sophisticated cybercriminals figure out a way to compromise one travel or tourism business, they can easily target more players in the market. This collective threat requires a collective response such as a real-time threat intelligence network."

About ThreatMetrix

ThreatMetrix is the fastest-growing provider of integrated cybercrime prevention solutions. The TrustDefender™ Cybercrime Protection Platform helps companies prevent unauthorized access to web and mobile applications, protect sensitive data, and secure transactions against account takeover, payment fraud, identity spoofing, malware, and data breaches. ThreatMetrix protects more than 1,500 customers and 9,000 websites across a variety of industries, including financial services, enterprise, e-commerce, payments, social networks, government, and insurance. For more information, visit www.threatmetrix.com or call 1-408-200-5755.

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CONTACT: Media Contacts Dan Rampe ThreatMetrix Tel: 408-200-5716 Email: drampe@threatmetrix.com Meghan Reilly Walker Sands Communications Tel: 312-445-9926 Email: meghan.reilly@walkersands.com

Source:ThreatMetrix, Inc.